This Library briefing paper looks at licensing and planning issues relating to betting shops in Great Britain.Jump to full report >>
There are 8,502 betting shops in Great Britain (Gambling Commission statistics, November 2017).
Under the Gambling Act 2005, a betting shop needs an operating licence, issued by the Gambling Commission, and a premises licence, issued by the local licensing authority. Unless it is a very small operation, personal licences, also issued by the Gambling Commission, will be needed for certain staff.
Objections can be raised against an application for a new premises licence by interested parties (eg people living close by) and responsible authorities (eg the police). It is also possible to trigger a review of an existing licence.
The only objections that are likely to be relevant are those that relate to the Gambling Act’s licensing objectives, or that raise issues under a licensing policy statement or the Gambling Commission’s guidance or codes of practice.
The Act’s three licensing objectives are:
Concerns have been expressed too about local planning authorities’ ability to control the number of betting shops on the high street. The rules on permitted development - under which, in certain circumstances, buildings with a range of high street uses could be converted into betting shops with no planning permission being required – were changed in April 2015. Change of use to a betting shop now requires planning permission, but concerns remain that clusters of betting shops, particularly in deprived areas, affect high street vitality.
Related Library Briefing Paper: Fixed odds betting terminals (CBP 6946).
Commons Briefing papers SN06919
Authors: John Woodhouse; Gabrielle Garton Grimwood